HP Construction
a room with a view

I was called in to do a mural for the owner of a cabinet showroom.  He wanted a “window” on the wall behind a cabinet display.  His wife had bought a window frame with a mirror in it at a crafts store, but the owner wasn’t happy with it. 

I told him Yes, I could give him a “window” with a real view.  First, I took the measurements, then began planning.

My first inclination was to give him a view I would love to have outside my own window, so I picked one of my favorite digital pictures from a recent trip to San Luis Obispo county. 

I then used MS Paint to sketch in some waves – being a pretty hardcore surfer in my youth, I wanted some nice point-break waves in my picture, to liven it up.  I also used MS Paint to overlay a window-type grid to the picture.  I liked the effect, but it seemed a bit static to me. 

Searching Flickr.com, I found a picture of an arched casement window, with the panels opened.  They weren’t opened the same on each side, and I liked the “uneven” dynamic it added to the picture, although I knew it would make the drawing just a little more difficult.  I also liked the way the open window seemed to bring the view into the room.

Once I had the basic idea, I drew a full-sized sketch, which I took with me, and used for drawing my sketch on the wall.  Before doing that, I floated the wall out with a layer of drywall compound, sanded and primered it, to give me a smoother surface to paint on.

Then I began the painting, starting with the background, and working my way forward.  I didn’t add a lot of detail to the windows themselves, but tried to make the basic shapes accurate, and let the viewer’s imagination do the rest.  I did do some research on casement window cranks, to try to add a little more realism.

Once I was nearly finished, my assistant requested that I paint a bottle of soap on the window sill.  As a parting thought, it occurred to me to add a sponge – so I used one of my painting sponges as a model, and painted a sponge on the sill also.   

And that was it, nothing else to do but add my signature and phone number, and wait for the commissions to pour in.  Ha!  

You can see it in person at Chavez Cabinets, 412 Yampa St., off Mt. Vernon near Brundage. 

- Neal

If you'd like to see more photos of this work as it progressed, click here for our flickr.com scrapbook of 37 photos

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